FOLLOWING an attack on Numa Kochu village in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State on Sunday, April 14, the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigeria Army has deployed special forces to the affected area in order to restore calm.
Police spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement on Friday, noted that the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has ordered the immediate deployment of a Tactical Team to provide support to the existing police operatives in Nasarawa State.
Mba said the IGP has also charged the state’s Police Commissioner to identify and fish out all persons connected to the dastardly killings.
The combined tactical teams that were deployed to Nasarawa includes members of the Police Mobile Force (PMF), Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Explosive Ordinance Department (EOD), IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) and Specialized Investigators from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID). Their job is to provide support to the existing security architecture in the State to prevent further attacks and to carry out discrete investigation into the killings.
The police also provided mobile phone numbers that members of the public could call to provide information that could be valuable to the security operatives in the discharge of the duties. The numbers are 08033097663, 08033674246.
On the other hand, the Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, Adeyemi Yekini, a Major-General in the Nigerian army said he has deployed some men to Akwanga to help the other security operatives on the ground.
Operation Whirl Stroke was set up to boost security in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states that have in recent times been plagued by herdsmen attacks.
Speaking with journalists in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, Yekini said collaboration between all security agencies is the best way to ensuring lasting security in troubled areas.
“We don’t really have troops there at Akwanga as we speak but there are other security forces on the ground there,” he said.
“What we have done is to be collaborating with them. I have directed my troops to move to Akwanga and join other security forces to track down the perpetrators of this crisis, let us apprehend them so that justice can be done.
Yekini said the operation has carried out successful operations in areas such as Obi, Doma, Toto and Awe local government areas of Nasarawa state, recovering 37 assorted weapons including a clarion 5.56 Israeli commando assault rifle, 389 ammunition, 1 grenade and local charms.
However, a spokesman of Numa Kochu, the village that was attacked, told reporters that members of their local vigilante group were able to apprehend three of the attackers and to their surprise, they were not Fulani herdsmen as initially thought.
“I got a call from the community after the incident. When I got there, the persons were already arrested by the people of the community. They told me they came and were shooting guns.
“Immediately they (the attackers) saw the people, they started running to the bush. The people pursued them and caught them there. Now we are trying to see if we can go into the bush to get their guns.
“They are three in numbers and they are not Fulanis, they are our brothers. Their names are Blani Zaman Gbugar, Garba Musa Amos and Ridan Labari.”
At the last count, the death toll in the attack had risen to 17. They were laid to rest after a funeral service on Wednesday.